Zahir’s spokesman said he was asked to stay on “to avoid disruption of security affairs,” a surprising move since the security situation is getting worse and worse, and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has been cleaning house in other posts.
The situation in Kabul has gotten so much worse that a lot of aid agencies announced today that they are fleeing the country, at least temporary, to avoid putting their workers at any more risk than they already are.
Several weeks of worse than usual attacks against targets inside the Afghan capital city of Kabul have several major aid agencies announcing that they are planning temporary withdrawals from the country.
How temporary remains to be seen, but most believe they’ll be back at some point, when the latest surge in violence moves back out of the capital, where most of them are based.
Afghanistan has seen nearly as many aid workers killed this year as the whole rest of the world combined, and the perception of these groups working hand-in-hand with the NATO occupation has made them a target in a way they wouldn’t be in most warzones.
The problem of suspicion toward aid workers is compounded in Afghanistan by the assassination of Osama bin Laden in 2011, as it was revealed that his death was the result of a CIA plot in which they pretended to be vaccination workers in neighboring Pakistan to collect the DNA of locals and test them for potential terrorists.
However, this was not an isolated incident, and Kabul has seen anumber of high profile attacksover the past week, which no doubt was adding pressure to the police chief for his inability to maintain security.
It is unusual for the Taliban to continue launching attacks at this rate so late in the year, as usually the “spring offensive” begins to slow down in late autumn, as fighters prepare to winter over in rural Afghanistan.
Since the “settlement” of the Afghan presidential election by installing Ashraf Ghani as de facto president and Abdullah Abdullah as something of a co-president in the newly created “chief executive” post, the two sides have bickered non-stop over cabinet positions.
Both sides have allies who wanted top cabinet posts in return for their support in the election, and both sides have been able to claim something related to victory in the election, such as it was. Officials say a new cabinet is likely many weeks away.
Whether this will allow Ghani to usurp some of the power remains to be seen, but he was making much of his plans to sideline Abdullah post-election even after the deal was made, and he seems keen to ensure that the existing centralization of power under the presidency is not too heavy interrupted.